Have A Great Relationship With Your Doctor

Should You Get Tested For COVID-19?

by Terry Wilson

Although the recent approval of two vaccines for COVID-19 is starting to change the way healthcare providers and local governments manage the pandemic, the virus is still a risk to millions of Americans who haven't been able to get vaccinated yet. In order to keep the virus from spreading out of control, many hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare providers offer COVID-19 testing services that prompt infected individuals to quarantine. While there are a few reasons to get tested, tests are relatively limited and aren't offered to just anyone. Anyone in the following circumstances should be able to get tested with help from their primary care physician.

Health Symptoms

Although many people who get COVID-19 and can spread it to others experience no noticeable symptoms of the virus, anyone who does experience symptoms should either get tested or quarantine for at least two weeks. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include shortness of breath, cough, fever, fatigue, body aches, and the loss of taste or smell. In order to get a test, anyone experiencing these symptoms needs to get in contact with their primary care physician. Once their physician authorizes a test, they can make an appointment with a local pharmacy, hospital, or medical lab to get tested.

Recent Risks

Since COVID-19 doesn't always cause symptoms in infected individuals, testing is sometimes the only way to know if a person has been infected. Anyone who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, especially if that contact was within six feet of space for over 15 minutes, should get tested for the disease. Additionally, anyone who has taken part in risky behaviors like attending crowded events or traveling by plane should get tested just in case anyone around them was unknowingly infected. Getting an authorization for a test from a government agency or healthcare provider should be easy if you have experienced recent risks.

Required Tests

Some governments, schools, or healthcare providers require certain people to get tested for COVID-19. Testing may be required after crossing state lines or before starting a new year or semester of school. Testing individuals before they can put others at risk is an essential component of many plans to reduce the rate of the virus's spread. These tests may not need a healthcare provider's authorization, especially if a government entity is involved, but they may have strict deadlines for test dates. 

To learn more about COVID-19 testing, contact a medical lab in your area.